The Batplane was the second aereal vehicle used by Batman on his fight against crime.
The first time Batman used the Batplane on a mission, was to stop the Monster Men from destroying the city. This version of the Batplane was very similar to the first Bat-vehicle, the Batgyro, except it didn't have rotor blades on top. The batplane also featured a mechanical gun on the front for aerial combat, however it was later removed. The next upgrade of the Batplane was the incorporation of the batshaped shield on the front. Besides giving the vehicle a menacing look, the shield also protected the engine of the plane.
The Batplane had he capability of transforming into a speedboat by retracting its wheels and folding its wings. Shortly after, Batman upgraded the Batplane by making it bigger and added red stripes on the sides of the plane. This model was soon destroyed by some criminals, but it was revealed that there was more than one model in Batman's secret hideout.
For Dick Grayson's ninth birthday, Bruce gave him his own small Batplane, which was an exact replica of the main batplane and it was stored in the same abandoned barn. Some time later, the Batplane was upgraded with jet tubes and also included retractable rotor blades on top, allowing the vehicle to hover over places much more steadily.
Batman and Robin upgraded the Batplane using the blueprints given to them by the renowned vehicle designer Frank Folland. This upgrades allowed the Batplane to become a Bat-Sub by retracting the wings and using torpedoes as underwater propulsion and also, the vehicle could be transformed into a three wheeled car by pulling out wheels from the bottom of the plane. However, this upgrades were temporarily removed on later versions of the plane.
After an unsuccessful military test, the Batplane fell into the hands of some criminals, who made two replicas of the vehicle. Batman and Robin designed and built a new, improved version of the vehicle, which they called Batplane II. The Batplane II was designed as a jet aircraft, meaning it was much more aerodynamic and less bulky. The bat shield was removed from the front and the new plane featured a large variety of functionalities and a great array of equipment, which was more than enough to defeat the criminals who were using the old model of the plane.
A short time later, Batman incorporated remote controls to his vehicles with help from an elder scientist. He could monitor the Batplane's movements through a screen monitor on the Batcave. Unfortunately, some crooks got hold of the remote control machine and started using the Batplane for their criminal purposes. Batman and Robin eventually managed to recover the stolen Batplane and removed the remote control feature from their vehicles.
The last improvement of the Batplane came years later, when Batman included computerized jet controls to the main board. He also adapted a remote control for the door in the secret barn that connected the Batplane's landing place with the Batcave. The Batplane also featured retractable wings to occupy less space while it was kept in the cave. This version of the Batplane also featured landing gear for all terrains, including skis for snowy areas. The Batplane also had enough space to hold the Batmobile inside and it featured a ramp to drive the vehicle in and out of the plane.
Taking advantage of the resources of WayneTech's various divisions, notably Wayne Aerospace, Bruce Wayne was able to design modified versions of commercial products for use in his crime-fighting career as Batman. Over the course of several years, there have been numerous versions of the Batplane model.
An early model Batplane was a hybrid fighter jet and helicopter (often referred to as Batplane II). When it became necessary to achieve a higher rate of climb, the helicopter assembly folded down into the fuselage of the craft. Like other versions of the Batplane, Batplane II was equipped with a fully-functioning crime lab, and magnesium flares encased inside of the cone.
As with most of the Bat-Vehicles, the Batplane was capable of following a remote control signal to any location. Batman often used this capability to get away from dangerous situations or simply leave a place quickly.
The Batplane's diverse array of functions have varied with time. Each version of the vehicle has been improved since the its creation.
- Capable of converting into a helicopter and submarine
- Vaccuum blanket to disrupt and jam control boards from enemy planes
- Jet propulsion
- Radio frequency disruptor
The current Batplane is a modified Wayne Aviation SlipStream ($46 million sans "extras"). It's detailed to resemble a standard mid-size corporate jet during take-offs and landings. Some of its features and capabilities are as follows:
- At cruising altitude (35,000-45,0000 ft.), telescoping wings retract. Exterior sections of tail and nose-cone envelop cockpit and cabin fuselage for higher altitude pressurization.
- Gaining further altitude (45,000-55,000 ft.) delta fins in the tail and snub winglets elongate to increase efficiency and stability as speeds approach supersonic.
- At ceiling altitudes (55,000-60,000 ft.) "smart" paint on exterior radar-shielding ceramics responds to dropping air pressure and temperature, thus camouflaging the Batplane's exterior to stealthy black.
- Avionics include ergonomic "at-a-glance" viewing levels for all electronics and multifunction displays. The breakaway canopy allows for pilot/co-pilot emergency ejection. The reinforced acrylic glass canopy windows polarize at stealth altitude.
The following specifications apply to the current model, the Wayne Aviation SlipStream.
- Height: 14.5 ft.
- Length: 57.7 ft.
- Wingspan: 47.6 ft. - The wings are protected by a bleed-air anti-icing system.
- Altitude Ceiling: 60,000 ft.
- Maximum Speed: 4,400 mph
- Range: 2,486 n m
- Take-Off Distance: 5,230 ft.
- Landing Distance: 2,984 ft.
- Payload: 2,670 lb.
- Refueling Time: 7.8 minutes
- Incorporated machine gun. It was removed from later versions.
- Incorporated radio with direct connection to police bands.
- Parachute-flares for emergencies.
- Later versions of the Batplane featured a series of gadgets and improved equipments, such as:
- Infra-red spotlight
- Giant Floodlight Spots
- Aerial Cameras
- TV and Radar Screen
- Auxiliary Jet Propulsion Motors
- Batplane II
- Magnesium fired Bat-Beam
- Three way interchanging landing gear wheels, pontoons and skis
- Human ejector tubes
- Crime lab
- Television, radar and radio antennaes incorporated on wings
- This version of the batplane was best known as Batwing. It was designed with a grappling hook on board used to pick objets from a distance and also grab people. The batwing also had a radio incorporated with a direct connection to police radio frequencies.
- The first mention of a "Batplane" was in the Detective Comics #32. However, this is not the official first apparance, since it was referring to the Batgyro.
- The Batplane was once used as a Christmas themed vehicle, with presents, a sled rail and a Christmas three incorporated.
Links and References
- Batman #1
- World's Finest #10
- Batman #3
- Batman #4
- Batman #9
- Detective Comics #61
- Batman #10
- Detective Comics #108
- World's Finest #25
- Batman #48
- Batman #61
- Batman #91
- Batman #350
- Detective Comics #519
- World's Finest #291
- Detective Comics #814
- Detective Comics #72
- Batman: The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight
- Detective Comics #84
- World's Finest #37
- Star-Spangled Comics #105
- Feat of Clay, Part I
- Batman #15